Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) conducted a three day maritime exercise SIMBEX in the South China Sea between August 2-4

New Delhi: The 28th edition of the three-day Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) in the South China Sea concluded on Saturday. SIMBEX is the Indian Navy’s longest uninterrupted bilateral maritime exercise with any foreign navy.

Guided missile destroyer INS Ranvijay with a ship-borne helicopter, ASW Corvette INS Kiltan, guided missile corvette INS Kora and one P8I long range maritime patrol aircraft represented the Indian Navy in the bilateral exercise. For the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), one Formidable Class Frigate, RSS Steadfast embarked with an S-70B naval helicopter, one Victory Class Missile Corvette, RSS Vigour, one Archer Class Submarine, one Fokker-50 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, and four F-16 fighter aircraft of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) also participated in the exercise.

"Despite these constraints during the planning stages, both navies could achieve seamless and safe execution of several challenging evolutions including live weapon firing and advanced naval warfare serials, including anti-submarine, anti-air and anti-surface warfare drills. The scale and complexity of the drills is ample testimony to the interoperability achieved between both navies," a statement from the Indian Navy read.

Owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s SIMBEX was planned without any physical interactions as an ‘at-sea only’ exercise hosted by the RSN in the southern fringes of the South China Sea.

Both navies have a representation in each other’s maritime information fusion centres and have also recently signed an agreement on mutual submarine rescue support and coordination.